Tour d' Espirit

Following is a recap of the 24 hour run that Koach and several TEAM CORINTH members participated in this past weekend.  The comments were supplied via cell phone and updates were done all through the event. 

Dateline 1:00 p.m. - Memphis, TN, 24-Hour Tour d’Esprit:

"Foot hurts, knee aches, stuffy nose, eyes watering, back pain – I must be ready!"
Bright sun, blue sky, low humidly, 65 degrees– A perfect day for a run!  There is festivity in the air. Campsites are springing up. People are tent-hopping, wearing sun shades and sipping bottled water or one of the new energy drinks. The participants are taking this far less seriously than the start of a marathon.  Nancy Ann helped erect her first tent last night as we staked our claim to the best camp site – front row center, just next to the race path. The only problem is that will make it very hard to pass by without pondering an excuse to stop. More later

3:00 PM – We’re off and running. Lots of enthusiasm. There are about 100 in the start, but many more will arrive as their shift comes up on their Team.  My plan is to start slow and continue slow!

3:15 PM: Made the first one mile loop in just over 8 min. Didn't mean to run that fast!  It is a beautiful course, most of it on a wooded trail.  We are running over several different surfaces.  Much of the path is covered with small slag and some is dirt. Other parts are asphalt and concrete.  Parts of the wooded path are  single-file wide with humps and tree roots, but is overall a delightful course.

4:15 PM: Finished first hour, and my opinion is like the man who fell off a 35 story building as he passed the 21st.  floor…'so far so good'!  It's a world-class afternoon. Sun beginning to go down. Great breeze from the north. Bill Dalton arrived in time to start the race with me and is currently setting a blistering pace. Knocked out 5 miles the 1st hour which is about a mile faster than we had intended. We all have timing chips, but instead of attaching to the shoe, an ankle band is holding the timing chip.

4:45: The Race Director just came around with a tray of margaritas….and that's the truth!!!  My kind of race!! Bill Dalton finished up with 10 miles before the big tennis match.  Gotta Run.

Margarita Man

7:00 PM: I Stopped for the pasta dinner and had a delightful meal with Nancy Ann.  It was absolutely delicious. We had no problem getting a table alone as no one wanted to sit with me after four hours of running.  This church knows how to do it right. They had pasta, salad, free wine and beer, all kinds of good stuff. This is the race to do.

9:30 PM: just completed 26 miles and that's a very magical number for runners as it's the marathon distance. So I just completed one marathon, got a couple more to do, but still feeling good and progressing right along.

11:15 PM: I've run 32.5 miles.. that has some significance to me.  While I've kept this somewhat quiet, that's half the distance I want to attain in this event. 

11:50 PM: Just finished 35 miles.. still going well at 9 hours. In good shape, actually. I just passed the camping  area, and somebody has coffee brewing over a campfire and it sure did smell good.

1:00 AM: Passed 40 miles ..10 hours ..4 miles per hour.. which is what I was hoping to do. So far, so good.

1:15 AM: Team Corinth member Joy Gray passed the 30 mile mark at 1 AM aided by "MyfriendPenny" Smith, as Joy refers to  her.   Joy is among very few TEAM CORINTH members...that has "run her age". 

3:00  AM: Finished mile 48.. still on the schedule of  4 miles an hour. It's beautiful night, really nice when running, cold only when I stop to refuel, which must be done often.  Forgot my bread for PBandJ sandwiches!  But anyway so far so good.

3:45 AM: Just finished 50 miles.  Doing pretty well.  It's very quiet now.  The people out on the course now are not talking, for sure.  I'm continuing, still doing about the time I intended to do, but slowing down a little bit.

5:00 AM: Just finished 55 miles ..feeling good as long as I don't stop. I get real stiff and sore and my hip hurts when I have to stop, but I must stop often to get the gravel out of my shoes. Man, I'm looking for daylight. hoping it won't be far behind.

6:00 AM: Just finished 58 miles! The most encouraging thing is that the sky to the east is brightening up and day is breaking. That is a good thing! Joy finished with 36 miles, and that's a new single-run record for her. Her previous highest total was 31 miles. Penny Smith finished with 11 miles.

6:30 AM: Just passed 60 mile mark. My primary goal is 65 miles. I am looking to reach that before too long. .

8:10 AM 65 and still alive!! This was my primary goal, so I'm planning to rest a little while before attempting more. Bill Dalton returned early and ran the last two miles with me.

10:45 AM: I took time for breakfast and a rest, but I am about to try it again. I'm still at 65 miles, but hopefully I will be able to add a little more.

11:10 AM: Having trouble making myself do anymore miles.  So, I took a photo of what shoes and socks look like after 65 miles. Although I may walk or jog a few more my "kinda secret" long-time goal was to "run my age...65"

11:15 AM:  Stuart joined me to put in a few miles and encourage me.  He's alternating doing fast miles and then slow.  He's done several miles already.  My first try at running more miles didn't work out well!  I was too stiff to run, but I can walk!

3:00 PM:  I managed to walk another 5 miles with Stuart encouraging me.  Gives me 70 total!  Pretty good days work!   The event is now ended and it was most interesting, for sure!  The church took in $75,000 and hopes to be able to clear $50,000 to use to support the medical clinic they operate in Haiti.  This is a wonderful cause and I'm very pleased for them. 

I couldn't have done it without the support of a lot of people, including NANCY ANN as well as those that came and ran a portion of the event with me.  They are listed below:

Joy Gray  36 miles
Stuart Green   14 miles
Bill Dalton     12 miles
Penny Smith   11 miles
Donna Olita    (ran with the Memphis Road Runners All-Girl Team...The GO GO Girls
John Aikin, Nan and Meg Green came to add support, as did the Whalen cousins from Memphis


Copyright 2010 Kenneth Williams ALL RIGHTS RESERVED